BRAINTREE (CBS) – Robbie Loud is a firefighter, but he is also the proud father of two young daughters. When the Newtown shootings happened, his heart broke. “It hit really hard with an eight-year-old and a five-year-old at home, a second grader and Kindergartener,” Loud said.
Ever since that tragedy, like so many people, he’s been filled with a feeling of wanting to help. “Being a firefighter, you’re helping,” he says. “You’re helping people anyways.”
One day at the Fire Department, he saw the Newtown, Connecticut town seal. He called a friend who owns a printing business to help him design some decals the fire department could sell to raise money for that community. “It is just such a horrible tragedy that people want to help out,” he said.
There are two designs. One shows the seal with Sandy Hook on one side of the ribbon, and the date, 12/14/12 on the other. A second has six stars for the teachers who died and 20 stars for the children. So far, more than 2000 have sold at a price of $2 or $4 depending on size.
“It is hard for us to keep up right now with the demand. It’s great. It’s a great showing of support,” Loud said. One man came in for three stickers and left a $200 check. Others have stopped in just to make a financial donation.
Loud says he and fellow firefighters will take the proceeds to Newtown. To him, making that trip is an important part of the process. “I just think it is a great thing for us to do to hand deliver what we did for them. To show them that there are people out there that do care and want to help out,” he said.
Loud is thankful for the incredible response. The first stickers only went on sale this past Friday. “We had to get more Saturday and then I had to get 500 more delivered yesterday to get us through the holidays so we’ll see how far it takes us,” said Loud.
The Newtown tragedy gave so many people a new appreciation of family. It did for Loud and his wife, Jessica, especially as they sat at a family gathering on Christmas day. “This has just taken off. I didn’t think it would be this big, but being able to spend today with my family having all of us be safe, is just the greatest gift anyone could have on Christmas,” he said.
“Something like this makes you stop and think that it could happen anywhere and I am very grateful that I woke up this morning and my kids are there are we’re all together,” Jessica added.
If you’d like one of the Newtown/Sandy Hook stickers, you can stop by the Braintree Fire Department building at 1 Union Place in Braintree. You can also send a self-addressed stamped envelope to that address. Checks should be made out to Sandy Hook School Support Fund.